Well, its Monday again, meaning a great time for some meal planning. I have been looking in my cupboards, fridge, and freezer, complaining to myself that there is nothing to eat. But, since there is plenty of stuff in there, I think the problem is just that I need to get organized, plan some meals from what is in the cupboard, and plan a shopping trip specifically for items to go with what I already have.
Breakfasts: Toast w/ apple butter, bagel thins with fried egg and sausage, toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
I made the apple butter last week, and have more cooking in the crock pot right now. I have half a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jam, bagel thins, eggs, and sausage (though I need to take some sausage out of the freezer to thaw out some)
Lunchs: Pad Thai w/ cashews and veggies, tater tots w/ cheese and ranch, tuna w/ crackers
I already have cashews, various frozen veggies, tater tots, tuna, yogurt, pickles, crackers, and cheese.
Dinners: Crock pot pork roast (preseasoned), pasta w/ veggies, grilled cheese sandwich w/ baked beans, acorn squash/sausage/veggie quiche
The roast is in the freezer and needs to be used, I have plenty of pasta and frozen veggies, and have the bread, cheese, and baked beans. Also have some leftover acorn squash needing to be used.
Other cooking plans: In addition to meals, I am also trying to preserve plenty of the fresh fall produce for use later in the year. I am making a second batch of apple butter right now in the crock pot (skin, core, chop apples, put in crock pot on low 8 hours, smash, add spices and sugar, cook another 6-8 hours). This second batch of apple butter is going to be a spicy batch, with Thai chilis added in (yeah, those are the ones rated as the second hottest chili in the world).
I also have the dehydrator going. I already did blackberries and raspberries. Yams were on sale, so I did a few of those as dog treats (Koira loves them, Pallo is indifferent). It is currently full of acorn squash (also for dog treats). As soon as the squash is done, I will add in more apples and pears. I already did some, but found another tree in my neighborhood weighed down with apples that I got permission to take, so plan on doing a lot more dried apples, and possibly some more apple butter as well.
Depending on time, I might go pick some more blackberries as well to dry. My freezer is full, so no more frozen berries (picked and froze 2 gallons of raspberries and 3 1/2 gallons of blackberries already), but I like the dehydrated berries in cereal. It started raining yesterday, which means if I want blackberries still this season I better get them today. If the berries are soft, I might even try making fruit leather with them instead of just dehydrating whole berries.
My shopping list (stuff I will need to buy to make the meals I have listed above with the stuff I already have): Bread (I only have half a loaf, and haven't had bread at all in the past month and a half, so plan on using quite a bit this week); fresh veggies (whatever is on sale or cheap, to compliment what I have frozen); ranch dressing (used the last of it up last week); Pad Thai noodles and seasoning
What the beasts are eating this week:
I picked up a 50 lb case of beef scrap super cheap while in Washington for the flyball tournament (through a raw feeding buying co-op group). I packaged up most of it into gallon ziplocks and put them in the freezer, but ran out of room for all of it. Its great quality meat, mostly really good red meat, a few organs (maybe 2 lbs of liver, and 3 kidneys total in the box), and a little bit of super fatty stuff (I threw away about 3 lbs of pure fat probably). The good stuff that didn't fit in the freezer is what is on the menu this week for feeding.
Koira and Pallo are loving it. Martha eats all the red meat off of any fat or tendon she gets given, but seems to be enjoying it as well. I did pick up a few turkey necks and meaty pork neck bones as well for providing some bone for the week. Between those few boney additions and the leftover meat that didn't fit in the freezer, it should be about a week's worth of food for the beasts.
For more menu planning ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie and StoneGable